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How to use YouChat as an AI chatbot and search tool

YouChat is part traditional search engine and part AI bot. Here's how to use both aspects to track down the right help and information.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor

Beyond looking for general information, you can search for images, videos, news, maps, and more.

visualspace/Getty Images

Looking for a website that combines a regular search engine and an AI chatbot? YouChat fits that bill. Offered by You.com, YouChat provides a prompt where you can submit a request, question, or search query. In return, it displays an AI-generated response along with website links for you to investigate the results.

Also: The best AI chatbots: ChatGPT and other noteworthy alternatives

Beyond looking for general information, you can search for images, videos, news, maps, and more. Plus, you're able to ask it to generate artwork, computer code, and other content. Besides the website, You.com is available as an extension for Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, as well as a mobile app for iOS and Android. Let's see how this all plays out.

1. Sign up at the You.com website

Fire up your favorite browser and surf over to the You.com website. To fully use YouChat, you'll need to create a free account. Click the Sign in button and type your email address in the appropriate field. Request a notification sent to your account or devise a password, and you're then signed in at the site.

Sign up at the You.com website
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

2. Run a search

At the search field, type and submit a question or request. YouChat provides a response accompanied by links to the websites that provided the information. As with a traditional search engine, you can follow each link to delve into the results.

Run a search
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: These are my 5 favorite AI tools for work

3. View other results in a search

Beyond showing the AI response and regular search results, YouChat can direct you to images, videos, news, maps, and even comments on social networks related to your query. At the search results page, click the different headings at the top to explore the various results.

View other results in a search
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

4. Generate content

Beyond running a regular search, you can ask YouChat to compose content, such as a poem, a song, an essay, a cover letter, or an ad. Type and submit a request for the content you want, and YouChat generates the response.

Generate content
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: How I used ChatGPT and AI art tools to launch my Etsy business fast

5. Use YouWrite to create content

You can also use a tool called YouWrite to create content, such as blog posts, emails, and social media posts. At the main You.com page, click the heading for YouWrite. Click the dropdown field for Use case and choose the type of content you want, such as email, blog post, or essay. Click the dropdown field for tone and choose among friendly, professional, or witty. In the field under Audience/Receiver, describe the type of audience for this content. Then in the field asking what the message is about, type a description of the content you need. When ready, click the Write New button. The response appears at the right.

Use YouWrite to create content
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

6. Use YouImagine to create images

Another tool known as YouImagine can generate drawings, paintings, and other images based on your description. At the main You.com page, click the heading for YouImagine. Click the dropdown field for model and choose among Stable Diffusion, Open Journey, or Anime. Describe the image you want and then click the button for Use AI to generate image. Among the images created, click one you like and you can save it to your computer as a PNG file.

Use YouImagine to create images
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: 6 things ChatGPT can't do (and another 20 it refuses to do)

7. Request shopping results

Shopping for a particular product or service? Hover over the More button at the main page and select Shopping. At the prompt, enter and submit the category or name of the item you want, and the results pop up.

Request shopping results
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

8. Request social media results

To find posts from Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social media sites, hover over the More button at the main page and choose Social. Type your query at the prompt, and YouSocial will generate results across different social networks.

Request social media results
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: How to use Wordtune AI to rewrite texts on your iPhone

9. Get help with code

Need help generating computer code? At the main page, hover over the More button and select Code Complete. At the prompt, type a description of the code you need. In response, the site displays the code in a sidebar and provides links to related websites.

Get help with code
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

10. Customize the apps and sites used

You can control the searches by rating the apps and websites that YouChat uses in its responses and results. For this, hover over the More button at the main page and click the link for Explore 150+ apps. Scroll down the app page. For each app, check the thumb's up icon to use it more frequently in searches or the thumb's down icon to use it less frequently. Click the Edit button next to an app and you can manage its use or block it completely.

Customize the apps and sites used
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: ChatGPT's 'accomplishment engine' is beating Google's search engine, says AI ethicist

11. Review specific categories

To further control the results, click any of the categories on the left and again rate each app based on how heavily you'd like it to be used in your searches.

Review specific categories
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

12. Customize key options

To customize the searches, click your profile icon in the upper right. From the resulting menu, you can turn safe search on or off, choose a specific region for the results, and determine how recent the results should be.

Control key options
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

13. Manage the settings

At the menu, click All Settings to review all the options, including your personal information, your chats with YouChat, and the apps used in your searches.

Manage the settings
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

Also: Best secure browsers to protect your privacy online

14. Install the extension

YouChat is also accessible as a browser extension. Supporting Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, the extension changes the default search engine in each browser to You.com. To set this up in any of the three browsers, click the Extension heading at the main page and then follow the prompts in the specific browser to install and activate the extension. The next time you type a query in the address field or search field at the top, You.com will generate the results.

Install the extension
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET

15. Use the mobile app

Finally, You.com is available as a mobile app that works similarly to the website. Download the app for iOS/iPadOS or Android. Using the app, you can chat with YouChat, find images and other items, generate content, and tweak the various settings.

Use the mobile app
Screenshot by Lance Whitney/ZDNET
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